There is a upsurge in attention on strengthening youth ministry. Many people (youth and leaders) are no longer interested in youth ministry as entertainment. Instead there is real interest in bringing youth into the heart of church ministry. More involved in outreach ministry, more involved in evangelism, prayer and theology. Jasmine Smart reviewed four new books by Andrew Root that are trying to get real theology into youth ministry in terms that are understandable, but takes seriously the theology.
The review is broken into two different posts, but these books look to be very helpful if you are involved in youth ministry, you have teens yourself, or you might be a teen.
I did not start thinking about a possible future in Youth Ministry until I was close to completing college. I was not the type who left high school wanting to still be a kid myself, which I think, accurate or not, is a stereotype I hold about youth ministers. I was definitely ready to grow up, and if I went into ministry, I wanted it to be with adults, that way I could bring the theology I loved to ministry.
Yet I never could quite get teenagers out of my mind as I realized for many of my peers in college, much of their worldview and ideology had already been shaped in high school or earlier. So when I discovered a series of publications committed to making youth ministry more aware of its theology, I had to take interest. Andrew Root describes this phenomenon in a previous book a “theological turn” in youth ministry, and he says: “I believe a small but growing (in numbers and depth) group of youth workers are ready, even yearning, to think theologically about youth ministry” (Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, 10).